One of the most ambitious subsea cable projects currently being built has come ashore in southern France. The 2Africa cable has officially landed in Marseille, completing its Mediterranean landing plans. There is plenty of work left to do though.
2Africa’s plans call for 45,000km of subsea fiber. From three Mediterranean ports in Barcelona, Marseille, and Genoa, the cable stretches east to Egypt, south along the east coast of Africa, and all the way back around the west coast of Africa to Portugal and the UK. A proposed eastern branch called PEARLS would also hit destinations in the Persian Gulf and stretch as far as India. Along the way it will drop off branches connecting a total of 33 countries.
The system is expected to be operational in 2023. The nominal capacity will total 180Tbps across 16 fiber pairs. Vodafone is the landing partner, and they are working with the Port of Marseille Fos and the data center giant Digital Realty. Digital Realty is deploying MRS4 in support of the new cable.
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